MIAMI (CBSMiami) — With early voting underway throughout the state for Florida’s Aug. 18 primary elections, more than 1.8 million Floridians had voted by mail or at early-voting sites as of late Tuesday morning.
Nearly 90 percent of the ballots had been cast by mail.
Early voting started in parts of the state on Aug. 3 and was required to be in place statewide on Saturday.
As of late Tuesday morning, 225,522 people had voted early, including 122,366 Republicans and 89,364 Democrats, according to numbers posted on the state Division of Elections website.
Meanwhile, 1,645,943 mail-in ballots had been cast, including 815,256 by Democrats and 584,886 by Republicans.
Both Miami-Dade and Broward reported a record request for mail in ballots. Each county has sent over 400,000 mail-in ballots to voters.
In Miami-Dade County, 163,654 vote-by-mail ballots had already been cast as of late Tuesday morning including 50,846 Republicans and 79,417 Democrats.
There have been 30,386 people who have voted early in Miami Dade, 13,799 Republicans and 13,291 Democrats.
In Broward, 135,782 vote-by-mail ballots had already by cast by Tuesday morning, including 23,324 Republicans and 92,435 Democrats.
There have been 10,616 people who have voted early in Broward, 2,065 Republicans and 7,945 Democrats.
Sue and Lou of Davie, who asked their last name not be given, say they mailed in their ballots August 2nd but they didn’t reach the supervisor of elections office until August 10th, a full eight days later.
Both county supervisors of elections say they haven’t experienced any mail delays to their knowledge. Although nationally the US postal service has said there are slowdowns because of the pandemic and cutbacks
Sue said four days after she sent her ballot she received an email from the county saying her ballot was received.
The ballot had not been received at that point and more troubling is the fact the county does not send ballot confirmation emails.
Broward Supervisor of Elections Pete Antonacci says there are scams.
“We want to catch these bad guys and expose them” he said.
Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections Christina White says the county is headed for a record turnout for a primary.
“There’s a lot of enthusiasm. We may end up with a 30% turnout,” she said.
Election department supervisors are taking steps to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 at polling places. For example, in Miami-Dade County, poll workers are wearing face shields, masks and disposable gloves. Common touch points are being wiped down regularly with disinfectant, hand sanitizer is being made available to all voters and there are social distancing protocols.
Voters are also required to wear facial coverings at all times, and they must use the hand sanitizer that is provided upon entering and exiting.
The Aug. 18 primaries include races for congressional and legislative seats and numerous local posts throughout the state.